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Question
Posted by: Shona | 2012/10/01

Desperate situation

Dear Doc
I hope you can guide me here. I am 57 years of age. I have a daugter of almost 21, and two other older children, 37 and 31. If I can describe the nature of my daughter it would be: She is extremly demanading. It very often feels like she has put a straw in my jugular vein and is drinking my blood out. She is a beautiful child, very well behaved, very strict, excelled at school, right up to matric. She works in the medical field, and is studying to further her career. In between does ballet classes, wants to take singing classes... and and and. If she has had 5 hidings since the day she was born it is a lot, she has always been a child, if you even just raised your voice to her, she cried as though you had hit her. So, we have realised that she is and always has been a very sensitive person. I have noticed too, that she is not someone that can easily help herself to be strong in situations, she would rather pop a pill to do the job for her. She has for years been on ci-lift given to her by a doctor for anxiety. Because I can see that she is someone that could become very easily dependant on pills I keep a strict control on this. She has been in a relationship for 4 years. About a month ago, her partner ended the relationship, I think her obsessive nature and her distrust just became to much for him. He still swears absolute love and devotion for her, but says for her sake he has ended it. She never trusted him, wanted to check his phone, questions, question... so yes has a very jealous nature as well. The problem is, the break up has devastated her. This we expected!. She went to pieces. I have sat hours and hours and hours concelling her, on and on, till I could not keep my eyes open anymore on some occasions. The past few weeks have been like a yoyo, up down up down. Expected. But the kind of thing she does is like this.... yesterday she saw him at church, the first time since the breakup. She started saying, mom I want him, mom I miss him,over and over.I started saying to her, dont say that to yourself over and over, it is going to make you negative and bring you down. But she continued, and each time she says, mom I want him or mom I miss him.... she expects me to respond. Which I did. Ag dont worry, it will get better, hang in there, tomorrow the sun will shine again etc etc. SO, after the 50th time she had said, mom I want him... I did not respond. She says.... hello.... I said, what do you want me to say?, and yes perhaps I said it a bit harsher than I should of... but my word!!. Immediately she fell into a even deeper depression. I could feel myself becoming depressed as well being around her.Then last night, she was sitting cring in her room and I went to speak to her again. She started saying... I thought I had your support... but i see I was wrong, you snapped at me, when all I wanted was support from you. I tried to explain to her, but you dont listen to me, I told you to stop saying negative things over and over to yourself. Anyway, she carried on and on..... and a bad thing happened. I just flipped right out!. I almost turned a table over, threw things around, broke things, and pushed a sharp instrument which I happened to have in my hand at the time into my arms. Making several puncture wounds. I tried to explain to her, that when she hurts it hurts her dad and I too, and that she is not the only one taking strain here. And how hard it is for me to continually uplift, uplift her. I am battling with a lot of medical problem as well. Immediately after my episode, and bleeding arm... I felt really ashamed for my behaviour. I have woken up this morning with a sore swollen arm, and feeling really ashamed of what I did. Way back when in my past I know if I am really, really pushed right to the edge I have felt like I could just grab something and injure myself, but never done something like this before.... please help me understand what is happening her?. Should she feel bad that she pushed her mother to this extent, or should I feel ashamed for having reacted the way I should have. I realise now, long before this happened I should of drew a line and said, no more, you cannot expect me to respond everytime you say something.... I dont know what to say to you anymore... thats what I should of done?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

In someone with a tendency to seek pill-popping solutions to life problems, and a possibility of over-using or abusing such meds, it would be FAR preferable for her to receive Cognitive-Baehavious Therapy ( CBT ) counselling to lift her anxiety and depression. and help her learn to cope better.
It sounds as though she has been excessively jealous in a way that often speaks of personal low self-esteem, and CBT could help that, too.
Her reaction to this disappointment in the relationship is excessive and totally maladaptive, and also speaks of a need for professional help.
Your reaction of frustration when she insisted on maintaining a self-defeating and self-propagating misery was entirely understandable, if not ( when it came to the outburst of damaging yourself ) and her reaction is excessive. She is not wanting or using the support she demands, but taking out on you the frustration and anger she doesn't dare express directly to the man who VERY UNDERSTANDABLY chose to leave her.
Constant provision of "uplift" to someone who neither appreciates it nor uses it is not something one can reasonable expect of anyone else. She clearly hasnt even though of the problems you personally are dealing with, and that is selfish and self-absorbed, in a ery immature way.
I agree with maria - you too are far too close and intertwined in this problem. She should be seeing a proper professional and not relying on you to give an endless supply of re-assurances.
She shouldnt need to be on Cilift for years, for anxiety, She sounds emotionally spoilt, and having tantrums like a far younger chil, and not the self-supporting adult she ought to be at her age.
She should see a psychologist ASAP, for a proper assessment and to start CBT psychotherapy ; the psychologist can advise whether adding a medication might help, and that can be assessed by a psychiatrist if necessary.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

5
Our users say:
Posted by: Anon | 2012/10/01

Hi

Maybe she wanted you to hold and give her some sound advice such as.
" all relationships are not for keeps, we are only in them, to discover who we are, and to help us decide on a possible soul mate" . Or " all break ups is devastating, but we need to be strong, and it''s okay to cry, and feel weak, or confused, but. It will get better, it always does" . And if she kept saying " mum I want him"  than you should''ve replied. " my dear, why would you want someone, who clearly sees no future with you ? Don''t you think you should rather move on and find happiness somewhere else, instead of trying to build your happiness on someone else''s unhappiness?"  You should ask all those questions. And hear her response. And ask questions in accordance with what she answers. I know, females can drain the living crap out of one, when they go through a break up. Whether it is a best friend, a sister, or daughter. But I''ve learnt to make the person realize that it''s no use holding onto something, when it wants to be.

All the best.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Lisa | 2012/10/01

If you dont mind me shedding some light either: She is the youngest and had her way all her life. Although 21 is still very young, it is old enough to act responsible. Of course she is heart broken about her boyfriend and nothing you will say will make it better as you wont say " Fight for him" . It is between her and her x. You are the real adult here. You need to stay calm and only give advise when needed. Focus on things to take her mind off him. I will strongly suggets a psyciatrist. One session is enough! Let a proffessional person, besides you, tell her things that she needs to hear. Coming from you, she wont listen.

Reply to Lisa
Posted by: Kate | 2012/10/01

I think you pay way too much attention to her and her tantrums...
I think its time for you and your hubby to focus more on yourselves, each other.
I feel very sad for you guys as she is purely manipulating you guys. I dont think any child would want to put their parents in this situation and would do anything not to do it but she dsnt even seem to feel bad about it.
She sounds spoilt, ungratefull and very disrespectfull indead.
Get her to move out and see someone to help her help herself deal with life.

Reply to Kate
Posted by: Maria | 2012/10/01

The relationship between yourself and your daughter sounds toxic to both of you. She is 21, she is working, it''s completely inappropriate for you to be controlling her medication and for her to be so emotionally dependent on you. I suggest that you urgently see a psychologist, separately and together, to help you both normalise the relationship and for her to become more independent and resilient.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/10/01

In someone with a tendency to seek pill-popping solutions to life problems, and a possibility of over-using or abusing such meds, it would be FAR preferable for her to receive Cognitive-Baehavious Therapy ( CBT ) counselling to lift her anxiety and depression. and help her learn to cope better.
It sounds as though she has been excessively jealous in a way that often speaks of personal low self-esteem, and CBT could help that, too.
Her reaction to this disappointment in the relationship is excessive and totally maladaptive, and also speaks of a need for professional help.
Your reaction of frustration when she insisted on maintaining a self-defeating and self-propagating misery was entirely understandable, if not ( when it came to the outburst of damaging yourself ) and her reaction is excessive. She is not wanting or using the support she demands, but taking out on you the frustration and anger she doesn't dare express directly to the man who VERY UNDERSTANDABLY chose to leave her.
Constant provision of "uplift" to someone who neither appreciates it nor uses it is not something one can reasonable expect of anyone else. She clearly hasnt even though of the problems you personally are dealing with, and that is selfish and self-absorbed, in a ery immature way.
I agree with maria - you too are far too close and intertwined in this problem. She should be seeing a proper professional and not relying on you to give an endless supply of re-assurances.
She shouldnt need to be on Cilift for years, for anxiety, She sounds emotionally spoilt, and having tantrums like a far younger chil, and not the self-supporting adult she ought to be at her age.
She should see a psychologist ASAP, for a proper assessment and to start CBT psychotherapy ; the psychologist can advise whether adding a medication might help, and that can be assessed by a psychiatrist if necessary.

Reply to cybershrink

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